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USN, JMSDF Ships Arrive in Kure, Continue Joint Port Visits Together

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100617-03

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Brock A. Taylor, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Japan

KURE, Japan (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) arrived in Kure, Japan June 12 for a joint port visit with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

The visit is part of a series of U.S.-Japan joint port visits aimed at celebrating the 50th anniversary of the treaty of mutual cooperation and security between the two nations. JMSDF destroyer, JDS Hiei (DDH 142), is making the port call to Kure alongside Mustin as a reflection of the alliance.

Mustin and Hiei have been the centerpiece of the 2010 U.S. Navy and JMSDF Foreign Exchange Training of Midshipmen. Forty midshipmen, 20 from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps and 20 JMSDF midshipmen, spent the past few days training together at sea aboard both ships. The exchange training allowed them to further their understanding of each other's culture and life at sea aboard both U.S. and Japanese warships, while also demonstrating the mutual bond both navies share as part of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

"Our assignment this week is more than just a port visit. We're here, with the Hiei, to show Kure citizens that we are committed to the strongest bond in the world - the U.S.-Japan alliance," said Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, Mustin's commanding officer. "To be able to combine our efforts in training future naval leaders while at sea, and then share in the experience of a port visit at Kure really demonstrates the strength of this alliance, and I'm proud Mustin is able to be a part of it."

Mustin's crew of approximately 300 Sailors also got a chance to experience Kure, and get to know their JMSDF counterparts. During the first day, select officers and chief petty officers from Mustin and Hiei took part in professional exchanges aboard both ships. June 13, Mustin Sailors held a community service project to clean up Kure's Nagasako Park.

The visit offered the Sailors rest, relaxation and a chance to learn about the vast history of the city, which is located in the Hiroshima prefecture. Being forward deployed to Yokosuka has given Mustin Sailors the opportunity to learn a lot about Japanese culture.

Kure, which is approximately 500 miles to the southwest of Yokosuka, will allow the crew to expand their knowledge of the country they are committed to defend.

"Being forward deployed to Yokosuka is a gift in itself, and being able to travel to other areas of Japan to meet those who we are sworn to protect as part of the alliance is an added bonus," said Mustin's Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Rachel Costello. "We all look forward to learning a lot from our time in one of the most revered historical naval sites in Japan."

Mustin is one of seven Alreigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, and is forward deployed to Yokosuka.

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